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Kingston Heritage - Mandy Marciniak

 

Contest Seeks Most Stressed Out Kingstonian

The idea of art as therapy isn’t new, but the idea of getting muddy at a pottery studio as therapy may be.

This summer, Amaranth Stoneware is hoping to help alleviate some stress in the community; the studio is asking members of the community to nominate someone they think could use a little relaxation and on Sept. 2, one of the nominees will receive a free pottery class.

“The classes can be really beneficial and a lot of people are surprised by how relaxed they are afterwards,” explained Ruth Adams, thrower and teacher at Amaranth. “With pottery, people really have to slow down and focus on what they are doing. The act is completely about using your hands and your body and getting yourself centered to make it happen.”

Adams has been teaching pottery classes for a number of years now, but she still remembers her initial experiences with pottery and how quickly she fell in love with it.

“I got the bug for it and I just wanted to keep going. I started taking courses and I think I took every course that I could and really immersed myself in pottery,” said Adams. “I loved it and I kept learning more and then I progressed to teaching too.”

Adams started teaching children’s classes and summer camp groups. Soon after those experiences, Amaranth Stoneware expanded to their new location at 745 Development Drive and with more spaces for classes and pottery production, Adams started teaching adult classes too.

“It is really rewarding seeing people come in and make something that they will have forever,” she said. “The classes can also be very therapeutic. There is a nice texture to the clay and it is tactile to work with it. The experience is very unique.”

To give this experience to more people, Amaranth decided to run a contest. The winner will receive a free class valued at $250. Community members are encouraged to nominate family members, friends or even themselves.

Adams hopes that a lot of people take interest and nominate or enter the contest; one of her favourite parts of teaching is seeing the transformation in people from beginner to pottery lover and she hopes this free class will allow someone that opportunity.

“It is something that I think is completely outside of what most people are dealing with in their day to day life with kids and the hustle and bustle,” she said. “The response from my students has been really positive and I think people get a sense of achievement from the classes.”

Overall, Adams just wants to share her love of pottery with as many people as possible.

“Pottery is something that is completely individual and it is something that people can do for themselves,” she said.  “I like it when students see the process happening and they are relaxing and they are learning to love pottery in the way that I do.”